Oh, squats. You either love them or hate them. Regardless of how deep your love (or hate) goes for this strength training exercise, there’s no denying that squats have some serious benefits! We all know that squats can tone your legs, but did you know that they also help your body to release more hormones and improve your core and flexibility? That’s a lot of reasons to add them to your workout routine!
While we encourage you to add squats to your workout routine, did you know that most people squat incorrectly? Poor form while squatting can result in both short-term and long-term back and knee injuries.
Keep reading for some tips on how to correct and perfect your squats so you can be one step closer to an overall more toned, lean body!
Most common squat mistakes
Most people squat incorrectly because of three common mistakes: not carrying their weight in the right spot, not lowering their hips enough, and arching their backs.
Most people aren’t sure where to place their weight while squatting: knees and toes or heels and balls of the feet? Have you ever paid attention to your form to see where you’re carrying your weight? Most people make the mistake of placing their weight on their knees and toes.
- Another mistake most people make while doing squats is not lowering their hips enough; your hips should be parallel to the ground.
- Keeping your back straight during squats is crucial to avoid a lower back injury. Most people tend to arch their back while squatting.
Proper way to squat
In order to squat properly, you’ll need to correct the three common mistakes above and then follow these steps to make sure you’re squatting correctly:
- Start by positioning your feet. They should be a little wider than your hips with your toes pointing slightly outward. This stance will allow you to place your weight on the heels and balls of your feet instead of your knees and toes.
- Keeping your body tight, push your hips back far enough as if you were going to sit down in a chair. If you’re unsure how far back your hips should be, try practicing by placing a chair directly behind you. Practice by slowly lowering your body with your hips back until you touch the chair. Once you touch the chair, your hips are in the right spot and you can continue to step number three!
- Now that you know how far back your hips should be, focus on keeping your back straight. If you find yourself constantly arching your back, look forward and keep your eyes fixated on one spot. Doing so will help you to focus on the right form and will keep your back straight.
- Finally, with your feet, hips and back in the correct positions, squat down being sure to keep your knees aligned with your feet, weight on the heels and balls of your feet and hips parallel to the ground.
By following the 4 steps above, you’ll be squatting correctly in no time, avoiding the risk of back/knee injuries!
Does your squat form need some improvement? Do you think you’re squatting correctly but want to make sure just to be safe? Our team of personal trainers– Jamie, Kale, Alex, and Skyler- would love to help you perfect your form. Please contact us if you have any questions. We have eleven squat racks in our 4,000 sq. ft. facility so there’s plenty of room to perfect your form!
We also encourage you to try any of our workout programs including individual training, group training and semi-private training sessions. At Plunkett Fitness, our number one goal is to help you reach yours, whether that’s weight loss, improving your mobility or building muscle. We’re currently offering one FREE week of individual training and two FREE weeks of group training – call (913) 390-3360 to get started today!